Café diabetes away

Coffee has been shown in many studies to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. While this effect has been observed no-one has been really sure why your daily cup of java of having this effect: until now.

Diabetes is an imminent epidemic. Here are the scary, but true, statistics designed to get your attention:
3.2 million Australians have diabetes or pre-diabetes.
On average every seven minutes someone somewhere in Australia is diagnosed with diabetes.
33 per cent of adults with diabetes are unaware that they have the condition.
Diabetes is the country’s fastest growing disease.

Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, affecting 85-90% of all people with diabetes. While it usually affects older adults, more and more younger people, even children, are getting type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas makes some insulin but it is not produced in the amount your body needs and it does not work effectively. Type 2 diabetes results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Exercise, good sleep, and sensible eating are the basis of diabetes prevention but since it is so lifestyle dependent, any lifestyle factor such as coffee that may reduce diabetes risk is welcome news.

For the latest study researchers matched 359 newly diagnosed women with type 2 diabetes to 359 women without the condition. The women were chosen from the 40 000 women taking part in the US Women’s Health Study.

Analysis showed that coffee drinkers were 56 per cent less likely to develop diabetes than non-coffee drinkers. They also found that coffee drinkers had higher blood levels of a protein called sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG). This is interesting because SHBG plays a role in regulating the activity of the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen which are believed to play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes.

When the researchers took out the increase in SHBG as a factor, the increase in protection from coffee drinking was not significant. This suggests that it is coffee’s impact on SHGB that allows it to reduce diabetes risk.

As you sip on your next cup of “arabica” and feel your SHBG levels rise you can reflect on the idea that it is this, provided you only have two or three cups a day and don’t accompany them with a muffin, that is doing your blood sugar some good.

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The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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